to ISF or SVS- that is the question...

Discussion in 'Displays' started by BradZ, Jan 29, 2004.

  1. BradZ

    BradZ Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2001
    Messages:
    161
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    With tax refunds coming it's time for an upgrade.

    Since I can't do everything I'd like, choices must be made. I'll have about $600 to play with, so would you...

    Get my 46" Sony RPTV ISF callibrated-

    or

    Upgrade my Energy Take 5.2 speaker system with the 8" Energy Sub to an SVS 25-31 PCi-

    Which do you think would make the better upgrade?

    Is ISF or SVS more important to the home theater experience. Understand I'll probably do the other choice down the road, but which would make the biggest wow. Bear in mind I'll have to justify this expense to the wife- so which upgrade will she notice more is also an important question.

    I'm posting this in the Speaker forum too just to get the feelings from that group as well.

    Thanks for any insight.
     
  2. BrianAe

    BrianAe Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2002
    Messages:
    441
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'd buy an Avia disk, calibrate yourself, then buy the SVS.
     
  3. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2000
    Messages:
    2,909
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Real Name:
    Michael Chen
    Greetings

    What is the importance of accurate colours and improved focus?

    Calibration will likely run you about $400 to $450.

    Improved Visuals ... or more bass ...

    We cannot crawl into your head on this one. It's value judgement stuff.

    Regards
     
  4. Guy Kuo

    Guy Kuo Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 1999
    Messages:
    581
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Tough choice, rather like deciding between which hand to keep. Eventually I expect you will do both though perhaps not in the immediate time frame. The SV subs are very nice, but so is a higher accuracy picture. A calibrator can go a lot further than you can by yourself.
     
  5. BradZ

    BradZ Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2001
    Messages:
    161
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Michael,

    I know its a subjective decision. I'm just trying to get the opinions of those that have done both to see which one made the biggest difference to them.

    I've done AVIA and DVE and am pretty happy with the results, but I know ISF would make it much better. I frequently watch for your posts and take alot from your insights. Eventually both will be done- ISF and a new SUB, but I want to know what other users have to say about the fun factor. Both are important and its comparing apples to oranges, but if you could only do one for now- which is the most fun upgrade.

    Also, which one will my wife most likely agree was a good upgrade?

    Most posters so far have opted for the new sub-

    all advice is appreciated.
     
  6. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    4,791
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Get the SVS, no question, definitely the bigger improvement, IMO of course.
     
  7. BradZ

    BradZ Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2001
    Messages:
    161
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for your input Guy (I love your products)- yes of course long-term both will be done- as well as upgrading my Take 5.2 speakers to some decent stand-mounters. All things in time...


    Wow two heavy hitters like Guy Kuo and Michael TLV weighing in on my little thread. I'm truly honored.

    As you can probably guess- most in the speaker forum say the sub is the most important. AVS is yeilding similar results. I wonder if it's because more people have SVS subs than have had an ISF callibration.
     
  8. Todd Terwilliger

    Todd Terwilliger Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2001
    Messages:
    1,745
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I can't speak for or against calibration but the single biggest improvement to my HT setup was adding an SVS sub. It's like night and day.
     
  9. Paul_Ptaaty

    Paul_Ptaaty Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Spend $25, get a membership at the hometheaterspot.com with access to the tweaks. It takes some effort, but you can get your TV looking very good, the biggest thing you just cannot do is grayscale, although you should get a very watchable (for most). Using the tweaks you should get your color decoder on, focus set, DCAM, remove the glare screen, adjust overscan, etc....to the point you have brought your TV up to a new level. Since your grayscale will still be off (they give tips to "eyeball" but this is not very accurate, esp for blue), you will not be "perfect" but I think it is very worthwhile, esp if you value your money more than time, plus the intrinsic value of understanding your TV is worth the investment in time IMO.

    Then you can buy the SVS (or other high end sub), which will definitely give more WOW, and still have at least a fair portion of the best of both worlds.
     
  10. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
    Insider

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 1999
    Messages:
    6,374
    Likes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    6,610
    Location:
    New England
    Real Name:
    Gregg Loewen
    hehe

    To differ with Paul's view:

    why not pay ZERO and go to the DIY area and learn to build your own sub? Then use the money saved to have your TV professional calibrated. I work behind "video tweekers" all the time and it only rarely done correctly.

    On another note:
    Ive had persons with NO AUDIO AT ALL (except for the TV speakers) hire me to calibrate their displays. Ive also had clients with almost no video at all have me calibrate their audio systems. Like Michael pointed out it is up to you and what you value more.

    FWIW (nothing) :)

    Gregg
     
  11. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2000
    Messages:
    2,909
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Real Name:
    Michael Chen
    Greetings

    So there you have it ... you can do it yourself in both camps ... no winner there.

    How about doing what the XXX Manufacturer Guys did at CES? Set it all up ... balance the high end speaker set up ... and they could care less. So they go into the speaker level control and pump up the sub to extreme levels and suddenly this is good sound to them? Yeah, yeah, more bass ... bass above all else ... bass above accuracy ...

    [​IMG]

    Regards
     
  12. Paul_Ptaaty

    Paul_Ptaaty Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Greg...from a calibrator... [​IMG] would I expect any less! The tweaks are written by highly competent and experienced ISF calibrators who are experts and own the TV themselves, with step by step instructions they follow to calibrate the TV...

    Of course, as Mike said, you can look at it either way. And a DIY sub is not free last time I checked. Although rewarding, to build one sub having no woodshop is not very cost effective. I have built a few subs myself, and none were free, one managed to look better than the average retail.

    For most people, I would agree, they will have an easier time building a properly designed sealed subwoofer (who knows about asthetics...) than properly calibrating their display.

    I just think, if he follows the tweaks and gets a sub capable of sub 45Hz he will notice a bigger difference than an ISF calibration.

    I can speak from experience, I used to own the Mirage AVS system which had a nearly identical sub to the energy...and I had a messed up TV, but the difference my first SVS made was definiately more noticeable the the final step of grayscale (which has since been accomplished).

    More bass better, but the difference between those subs is EXTREME, even calibrated to the proper level. The difference between a TV tweaked using the same steps as a calibrator (sans greyscale), and albiet not with the same skill...compared to one that has is not so extreme.
     
  13. BradZ

    BradZ Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2001
    Messages:
    161
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    another big name checks in, thanks Gregg for your comments. The problem is that I have about an equal feeling on audio and video. Both will be done eventually.

    As far as joining the spot- I have been there for a long time and had access to the tweaks before they were for paid members only. I just don't feel comfortable in the service menu- call me chicken, but I'd rather leave that to the pros like Michael or Gregg. I've done all the user menu stuff I can.

    again- the speaker board say sub and the display board says ISF- go figure huh?

    It's fun to hear people's opinions.
     
  14. Paul_Ptaaty

    Paul_Ptaaty Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Brad in that case...

    scrap all I said [​IMG] I figured you were technically competent and willing to delve in.

    I sometimes forget that not every enthusiest is like me (Mechanical Engineering degree, absolutely fearless with technical things)

    If your TV is right out of the box (with the basic AVIA only), it becomes totally in the air as to your preference. You should plan to do both, once you experience either it is very difficult to go back....
     
  15. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
    Insider

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 1999
    Messages:
    6,374
    Likes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    6,610
    Location:
    New England
    Real Name:
    Gregg Loewen



    These are the client type that I normally have to work behind to "clean up" their messes.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Guy Kuo

    Guy Kuo Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 1999
    Messages:
    581
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Here's a winner if you can't decide. Take the money and spend it on your WIFE. It will double the negotiable amount you have available for the home theater later.
     
  17. BradZ

    BradZ Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2001
    Messages:
    161
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Guy, best suggestion yet-

    Gregg, that's my thinking about getting into the service menu, I'd hate to have to hire a tech to try to fix something I did. I keep thinking I'll sneeze with my hand on the remote and do something truly bad.
     
  18. Mike Howard

    Mike Howard Extra

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Brad,
    I'm pretty much in the same boat as you. I just bought my 1st RPTV, a Mits WS-55813. And upgraded my front main speakers to Pinnacle Black Diamond 1000's. I currently do not have a dedicated sub.
    I purchased a copy of DVE, and with much inthusiasm proceeded to calibrate my Mits. Well maybe I'm a doofus, because the process was at best difficult for me. So I only attempted the tweaks that I felt comfortable with, which weren't many.
    Since my Mits, to my eyes, has a great picture as is (with the exception of some red push) I'll just leave it well enough alone for now. And in about 6 months have a qualified ISF tech take a shot at it.
    So for now the biggest bang for my buck is going to be the purchase of a SVS 20-39 PC+ [​IMG]
     

Share This Page